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Pediatrics/Reducing substance test positive


Hello Doc
My daughter is about to turn 7 months. Since I started  solids for her since last month, she has been suffering from frequent poops, soon after every meal and milk. Before that, she was trained for poop and used to do once in the morning. Even she has got one tooth. Doctor said it's normal and should be fine soon. I even changed the milk from nan2 to zerolac but it didn't help.
Now I got her stool test done, it's coming reducing substance positive with a value of 5. Was giving her flagyl 2ml twice and gripe water as well since last 3 days.
What should I do now?

Dear Ms. Jain,

Thank you for the question. I am thinking that the results do seem to suggest lactose intolerance. However, you said she is on Zerolac. Was the stool test done while she was on Zerolac? Was she not on any other dairy food and not on breastmilk either? This clarity is important, since, if she is not on any lactose, why should she show a positive reducing substances test.

Kindly revert on this.

Please stop giving her Flagyl and gripe water. The first medicine is being given without a clear indication, and the dose is far from adequate. The second one is not even a legal medicine ... and has no effect on diarrhoea. Please stop them both.


P.S. Would you consider REPEATING the stool red. substances test AFTER GIVING HER DAIRY FOODS and then AGAIN after stopping them all.



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Dr. Taher Kagalwala


I come from India, and have been practising since 29 years. I am specially interested in infections, asthma, newborn care and parenting. I have authored a book on Parenting.It is called "Child Care: From Birth to Eighteen". The e-book is now available on
and on and all local versions, including I have my professional site at Blogger. Here, you can read good advice and also seek a professional online consultation for a small fee. Do check out


Qualified Pediatrician practising since 29 years.
Currently working in the United Kingdom. You may reach me on my cell number +447440622670 or email me on only if I have not responded to your query here in a reasonable time. If you directly call me or email me, I might not be able to respond. Thank you for understanding. Please do not Whatsapp me.

Indian Academy of Pediatrics, life member. Mumbai Branch of the I.A.P., life member. Genetics Chapter of the I.A.P.

Indian Pediatrics, Indian Journal of Pediatrics, Toxicology Abstracts.

M.D., M.R.C.P.C.H. (U.K.), Ph. D. (U.S.A.) D.C.H.

Awards and Honors
Gold Medallist in D.C.H., April, 1985
Highest aggregate marks in University of Mumbai, for M.D. ( Pediatrics ), October 1986.
Passed out with distinction from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, U.K. in 2015.

Past/Present Clients
1. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (K.E.M. Hospital) 2. Private consulting practice. Worked as the Asst. Paediatrician and DNB Teacher at Masina Hospital. Also visiting Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. 3. Ministry of Health in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a Specialist Paediatrician. 4. Now with the NHS, UK as a Specialist Paediatric Registrar at Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.

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